Donald McConnell, age 86, of Russell, Minnesota, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at the Prairie Home Hospice in Marshall, Minnesota. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 from 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM at Grace First Parish Church in Russell. Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at 10:30 AM at Grace First Parish Church. Burial will be in Russell City Cemetery. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hartquist Funeral Home – Tyler Chapel.
Donald Calvin McConnell was born December 24, 1936 to Claude Harold and Esther Mabel (Goodrich) McConnell in Marshall, Minnesota. His parents moved and farmed near Garvin, Minnesota. A short time later, they moved and farmed near Balaton, Minnesota. After finishing school, Donald continued to farm until 2006 when he retired. In 1960, Don purchased an adjoining farm land. On December 30, 1960, Donald was united in marriage to Betty Otto. Following their marriage they were blessed with 5 children. Donald spent the rest of his life with Betty. At first farming, which included 20 years in dairy. Meanwhile enjoying many outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, and camping. Along with spending time outdoors, they spent time traveling and visiting friends and family. For many years (after the cows were sold) they would enjoy their winters with new found friends in Texas. When he wasn’t seen outdoors or traveling, you could find him woodworking or making family videos. Don was an involved individual when it came to the community. He would mow at the cemetery, donate blood, meet with coffee friends, also volunteering at Marshall Avera Thrift Store. While in the National Guard for six years he helped during the Marshall flood. Don was a very active individual, even in his 80’s he would insist on walking for the deer drive. You would often hear him say “I’ll send them by slow”. One of his many accomplishments is that he was proud of never getting a ticket. In the early years Don built a special friendship with his brother-in-law, Philip McCurdy by shearing sheep with him for several years.
Donald is lovingly survived by his wife, Betty; four children, William “Bill” McConnell, Roger (Marcy) McConnell, Sandy (Scott) Niemela, and Paul (Gwen) McConnell; 12 grandchildren Tracy (Steve) Mankowski, Tyrel (Mary) McConnell, Nathan (Nancy) McConnell , Alisha McConnell, Jessica (Jake) Keenan, Michelle (Dewayne) Carollo, Jennifer (Joe) Stein, Chelsea (Peter) Noding, Emily (Noah) Melhorn, Courtney (John) Sullivan, Melissa (Trevor) Fricke, Breanna McConnell ; and 29 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; Claude (Esther) McConnell; sisters, Elrene McConnell, Elaine McCurdy; and daughter Kristine.